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Belmont Club

The PC Card Game

February 26th, 2014 - 7:26 pm

I used to think life was simple. A person who opened his doors to the public was committed to serve any well-behaved member of the public. Thus, a Woolworth’s lunch counter could not refuse to serve a black customer because he was black. I used to think the public space was like the highway. You only saw the cars and as long as each car kept to his lane and followed the traffic rules it was of no concern to you if Bigfoot was driving the vehicle. Public space, public behavior.  You didn’t care who was in the car.

But maybe things aren’t so simple.  Consider the following actual situations.

  1. Should Christian Bakers Be Allowed to Refuse Wedding Cakes to Gays?
  2. Muslim taxi driver dumps family out of his cab after spotting an unopened bottle of wine saying it was against his religion
  3. Gay activists have met their match with Muslim barbers (In which a Muslim barber refuses to barber a lesbian because his religion forbids him to touch a woman other than his wife.)
  4. ASA Members Vote To Endorse Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions
  5. Not safe to display American flag in American high school on Cinco de Mayo

Is there any difference between them and why?

Bonus question re number 3: suppose the Muslim taxi driver refusing the couple with the bottle of wine was white and the passengers were black, would that change your mind? Why should it? An unrelated but practical question: why would you like a wedding cake baked for you by someone patently disapproves of your life style? Wouldn’t you be afraid to eat it? Why on earth would you want a shave or haircut from an angry Muslim barber? Have they run out of other barbers in Canada or is there a principle involved.

Ezra Levant tries to navigate the vicissitudes of modern political correctness in Canada. He’s a bolder man than me.

Omar Mahrouk is the owner of the Terminal Barber Shop in Toronto. He follows Shariah law, so he thinks women have cooties. As Mahrouk and the other barbers there say, they don’t believe in touching women other than their own wives. … So if we now believe in multiculturalism, and that our Canadian culture of tolerance isn’t any better than the Shariah culture of sex crimes and gender apartheid, who are we to complain when Omar Mahrouk takes us up on our promise that he can continue to practise his culture — lesbian haircuts be damned? …

Mahrouk’s view is illiberal. But in Canada we believe in property rights and freedom of association — and in this case, freedom of religion, too. But McGregor [the lesbian] ran to the Human Rights Tribunal and demanded that Mahrouk give her a haircut.

In the past, human rights commissions have been a great ally to gay activists. Because, traditionally, gay activists have complained against Christians. And white Christians are the one ethnic identity group that human rights commissions don’t value, and that multiculturalism doesn’t include.

In recent years, Canadian human rights commissions have weighed a complaint about a women’s-only health club that refused a pre-operative transsexual male who wanted to change in the locker rooms.

They’ve ordered bed and breakfasts owned by Christian families to take in gay couples. They’ve censored pastors and priests who have criticized gay marriage. Gays win, because it’s a test of who is most outraged and offended.

But in the case of the Muslim barbers, the gay activists have met their match. If the test is who can be the most offended or most politically correct, a lesbian’s just not going to cut it.

Oh, McGregor is politically correct. But just not politically correct enough. It’s like poker.

A white, Christian male has the lowest hand — it’s like he’s got just one high card, maybe an ace. So almost everyone trumps him.

A white woman is just a bit higher — like a pair of twos. Enough to beat a white man, but not much more.

A gay man is like having two pairs in poker.

A gay woman — a lesbian like McGregor — is like having three of a kind.

A black lesbian is a full house — pretty tough to beat.

Unless she’s also in a wheelchair, which means she’s pretty much a straight flush.

The only person who could trump that would be a royal flush. If the late Sammy Davis Jr. — who was black, Jewish and half-blind — were to convert to Islam and discover he was 1/64th Aboriginal.

So which is a better hand: A lesbian who wants a haircut or a Muslim who doesn’t want to give it to her?

I’m betting on Mahrouk. And I predict that Muslim activists — not quiet barbers like Mahrouk, but professional Muslim busybodies — will start using human rights commissions more and more to push their way into places where they have no legal right, but where the human rights commissions are more than happy to engineer things for them, if they complain loud enough.

Maybe Ezra Levant is right about the value of the cards. I wouldn’t know. But there’s a more fundamental question he doesn’t address. Who makes up these rules? One last question: does a multicultural community have its own distinct culture? Or is that forbidden by the multicultural property?


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Top Rated Comments   
The "politically correct" speech movement is approaching the problem in the wrong way. People want "freedom" not in the abstract but in order to live in what might be called a bigoted way. Their way. But when several disparate groups move to the same continent "freedom" acquires a secondary meaning: preventing one community from telling another community how to live.

Freedom cannot survive in either of these senses if the state gets into the act of enforcing tolerance.

The ideal of limited government and the separation between church and state was introduced to prevent any one group of bigots from using the coercive power of the state to impose their ideas on all the other bigots. While the state remains limited you have both kinds of freedom: the freedom to indulge in your peculiar bigotry and the freedom of each from the bigotry of the others.

Once the state is used to enforce "tolerance" it unavoidably builds the machinery for enforcing intolerance. The PC machinery itself will inevitably become captured by the most powerful group of bigots because it is worth capturing. Because setting the state policy becomes decisive.

This is what we are seeing now. That is the danger, not the individual bigotry. It should matter not a whit whether some "Christian" baker refuses to bake a cake or some "Muslim" cabbie refuses a fare or some Marxist academic group wants to boycott the Jews for so long as they cannot enlist the state in their program of coercion.

Individual bigotry is trivial to counter. I'll just to another baker, another taxi etc. Go down the street and find someone who'll take my money. It is state sponsored correctness that is frightening. But once the machinery of PC enforcement is built, then the tolerance will be obligatory.
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8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Functionally, the laws and Constitutions are now totally subjective, based on who has the ear of whoever is in power.

I would add to the ASA boycott question the matter of who funds them. If the dues of member organizations are paid with government funds; if the laws were equal then the member organizations could and should be sued for political misappropriation of government funds. If they are totally privately funded, they can boycott whoever they want so long as they are not breaking the law [I'm thinking of threatening 3rd parties to extort them into going along with the boycott.]

This thread goes along with the corruption thread previous. Only a corrupt state uses its force to compel its political agenda.

After the events that led up to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer making every Christian owned business in the state a target today; an appropriate response would be for those groups/churches/etc. who do not believe in "Gay Rights" becoming a "Gay Privileged" position to return the same tactics. If a business self-identifies as gay owned, use that. If it is a bakery, contract with them to make a cake celebrating "Sodom and Gomorrah Day". And if they refuse, sue them under the same law for religious discrimination. The specific good or service would have to be adjusted as needed, but payback may be what is needed to force a truce. Or force them to go in on the idea of a statute that protects everybody. Sounds like a job for the Phelps Church.

Subotai Bahadur
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the end, those who are willing to use violence to back up their claims of PC preeminence will win. They have learned in Europe that a note pinned to your chest with a stiletto trumps any rulings from human rights commissars. Gays and women are not going to like the results of pushing their prerogatives too far.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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"Who makes up these rules?"

The Cathedral.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Alas, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."

Baker: "Certainly sirs. One wedding cake, 99.95. Gay couple on top, $5,000. Because gay couple figurines are so rare and precious, don't you agree? Oh, and we don't deliver to that venue, whatever it may be."
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
This all became inevitable sixty years ago, when the courts decided that the end of de jure segregation meat the enforcement mandatory integration, and that privately owned lunch counters lost their private rights because White Southerners were unsympathetic figures. The current conflict is just an inevitable logical extension of the principle. Next step, dating services will be forbidden from asking clients their sexual preference, and heterosexual clients who refuse dates with homosexuals will be deemed bigots.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Levant is far too harsh. Hinduism and Judaism (some sects) have rules about who can touch and under what circumstances; ritual or religious cleansing after pollution is widespread.

Feminism and Islam share the idea of hierarchy of truth: women don’t lie about rape and a moslem man’s word is worth more than that of an infidel.

And Socialism/Communism condemns all capitalist-roaders, no testimony or crimes necessary, merely accusation.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment

Fail Burton,
"To the PC ... colonialism, oppression, patriarchy, genocide, imperialism is a whites-only affair."

Every one of those activities nearly universal across almost all human societies. There have been matriarchal and even a few female polyandrous cultures such as in the Himalayas. The only vocabulary for criticizing any of those behaviors is that developed as a moral code in Western Judeo-Christian civilization. It is impossible to criticize colonialism or genocide or any of those other behaviors in a secular or non-Western context without resorting to arbitrary special pleading, "That is terrible when done by you but we are special and are allowed to."

Only in the West did a discourse develop in which people could say, "We did this and we were wrong." It began in literature with Hector and Priam being displayed sympathetically even when facing death at the hands Achilles. Thukydides in the Mytilenean Debate and the Melian Dialogue set the standard for moral criticism of political conduct. That set the context for Bernal Diaz to criticize Spanish conduct in "The Conquest of New Spain" using Western moral standards.

The argument that it matters if the oppressed or oppressors are white or not is simply racism that can only be challenged using the above mentioned Western moral code.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Back around 1972 I observed that the "Civil Rights" movement had degenerated into:

"I think everyone is equal, so therefore I am better than you."
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Levant has it exactly right: it's a type of Orwellian happy bigotry and baseball standings combined. Supposedly it's all based on the idea of diversity and equality in cultural custom and practice but we haven't sufficiently reckoned on the presence of women, gays and non-whites who are themselves simply bigots and identity addicts.

I find it interesting how often our PC groups call for diversity and participation in the public (white straight male) arena while self-segregating their own areas of interest so there exists only them - gay, black or feminist anthologies, web sites, awards, etc.

They claim they do that because of the presence of awards, web sites and anthologies gays, women and blacks can't participate in but that's not true. They participate in mainstream pop culture, but they have numerous things I can't participate in.

The people who cry for diversity the most practice it the least, and there's a lesson there. Identity narcissism and self-obsession is not only unhealthy and hypocritical, it projects its assumptions onto people who have not the least interest in such things. The result is the white straight male not only bringing a spoon to a knife fight, but not even being aware there's a fight in the first place.

If you wish to view what happens in a microcosm, look at the gay/gender/feminist Tiptree Awards for best science fiction and fantasy, given out since 1991. The just released Nebula SFF awards nominations are far closer to the agenda of the Tiptrees than at any time since '91 and include the Tiptree co-founder and two former Tiptree judges and 5 other cross-overs in the nominations. One Nebula-nominated novel is by a gay woman about a bi-sexual early medieval woman and the novel is neither SF or fantasy. One is about a chimp raised with a human baby in a thinly disguised tract about the woe-is-me bullied "other." The Nebulas are now only marginally more mainstream than a gay/feminist award. Neither the new and improved Nebulas or the old and improved Tiptrees will ever call for diversity because that's all a crock.

Of course millions of people who have no interest in non-SFF SFF and bell hooks have long gone to greener pastures like Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter. That'll be a little harder to infiltrate and crack but having a black Human Torch and gay Green Lantern is a good start.

As an aside, the Tiptrees have long been ironically famous for nominating authors who disappear within a few years. The Nebulas were once famous for having names nominated who had lifetime careers. You can stick a fork in the Nebulas, cuz people surprisingly have little interest in SFF where there is no use of "he" or "she," whining postcolonial space stations without a plot, or bi-sexual women who change the landscape of a medieval world devoid of magic.

The bottom line in all this is a culture which exploits principle but which has no interest in such a thing. All that matters are the Towers of competing identity-Babel you can watch just like baseball standings as they jockey for position.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Derbyshire [http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/RadioDerb/2013-12-14.html] on the baker

The story begins last year when two homosexuals, Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, got "married" in Massachusetts and flew to Colorado for their honeymoon. They naturally wanted a wedding cake with which to celebrate the happy event, so they showed up at the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver and asked the proprietor, Jack Phillips, to bake them a cake and decorate it in appropriate style — with pansies, perhaps, I don't know.

Mr. Phillips, who is a devout Christian, politely declined to do so. The homosexuals thanked him for his time and went back to their Yellow Pages to find another cake shop …

No,wait; that's what happened in Bizarro U.S.A., a sensible country where citizens respect each other's harmless beliefs. In the nation we actually inhabit, the United States of Grievance, nobody behaves like that any more.

What Mr. and Mr. Craig did was, they ran off squealing in outrage to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ...
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Take a hyphen and re-architecture society around it and you have a collection of identities in place of a country. Once these objects are in existence the next step is performing an ordering operation on the elements. Once politicians start the sort, they will find it hard to stop. At first it seems harmless enough but soon the danger becomes apparent. The unrecognized danger to identity politics is that it often becomes a struggle for dominance. Once political power is determined by identity, identity will soon enough become the driver of conflict.

Once you grant leave to the Muslims, or any other group to play the preference game, then the other identity groups will want in. Soon we are all playing preference games. Thus does the hyphen become not only the building block of a multicultural society, but potentially its destroyer. Nothing can ever be so dangerous as "-". For not only does it connect terms, it also sets them in opposition to other compound terms.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree: PC culture will destroy anything it touches, large or small, nation or literary community. The irony is that much of the rest of the world used to use America as an example to follow. Now they are starting to use it as an example to not follow. The Game of Thrones you see in India is edited for a reason.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Southern California lawmakers who support legislation to discriminate against gays and lesbians now have one less hotspot to visit in West Hollywood.

David Cooley, the founder of The Abbey Food & Bar located at 692 North Robertson Blvd., has announced the popular gay bar will add any legislator in any state who votes for “bills to allow for discrimination against LGBT people” to a “Deny Entry List.”

In a statement, Cooley said The Abbey will also display headshots of each state representative who support bills on the security list, including Kansas House Bill 2453, Arizona Senate Bill 1062, Idaho House Bill 426, Ohio House Bill 82 and other similar proposals.

RELATED: WeHo Bars Pour Out Russian Vodka In Protest Of Country’s Anti-LBGT Laws

“I want to send a message to all those people out there who conflate Christian values with discrimination: we don’t want your kind here,” Cooley said. “I’ve learned that I can’t stop crazy, ignorant or stupid, but I can stop it from coming through my doors.”

The move isn’t the first time The Abbey has waded into state politics: when gay marriage was still illegal in California in May 2012, the bar announced a ban on all bachelorette parties, which it called an “offensive heterosexual tradition” that flaunts marriage inequality.

The Abbey, which features a rainbow-colored cross as its logo and touts itself as the “Best Gay Bar In The World,” also called on other local restaurants, hotels, and other retailers “that appreciate their LGBT customers” to enact similar bans.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/02/25/weho-bar-to-ban-lawmakers-who-support-anti-gay-legislation/
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Abbey Food and Bar [http://abbeyfoodandbar.com/index.cfm]

"Legendary West Hollywood Gay Bar"

EVENTS
http://abbeyfoodandbar.com/sbeEvents.cfm
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
HISTORY
http://abbeyfoodandbar.com/HiVstory
in 2012, Cooley was selected to join President Obama’s LGBT Advisory Committee, hosting several fundraising events for the President.

Cooley regularly hosts events and fundraisers for openly Gay and Lesbian Candidates for public office as well as friends to the LGBT community, including Hilary Clinton, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, California Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Cooley famously banned Bachelorette Parties from The Abbey until marriage was legal in California, making national headlines
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
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